Pack for Adventure: What to Bring in your Tiny House RV

The open road. Photo credit: Lisa Luken

Whether you are planning to be on the road everyday or you are choosing to stay parked in your favorite corner of the world for a bit, it’s likely that you have chosen a tiny house for the freedom it will provide. The adventure looks different for everyone, but it undoubtedly means a journey with less “stuff”.

So how do you approach the overwhelming task of choosing what to take with you?  How will you fit everything into only a couple hundred square feet?  The key is to focus on the fun ahead then choose what to pack for the adventure. 

You’re already being creative and living intentionally by choosing a tiny house.  You’re focusing on all that you’ll gain, not what you’ll give up.   So approach the task of evaluating your “stuff” with this same positive mindset.

A Tumbleweed Elm out for an adventure

Begin by dreaming big.  Ask yourself:

  1. How do I want to feel when I wake up each morning?
  2. What will I enjoy doing each day?
  3. How will I relax each night before dozing off?
  4. What will remind me of the people and places I love?

Then, just like you’d pack a suitcase, you’ll need to know your space and plan accordingly.  Consider:

  1. Do you desire lots of open “white space”?
  2. Or do you want to utilize every inch?
  3. What spaces could serve double (or triple) duty?
  4. How easily will your items transport?

With a clear vision of what a day in the life of your tiny house might look like, use your excitement to plan what to pack.

You’ll want to go through your “stuff” and continuously ask one question:

“Will this support me now on this adventure?” 

Interior of Tumbleweed Elm Horizon

As you do this, keep in mind the following:

1). Cover your basic needs

Think versatility and comfort for clothes, compact and dual purpose for your kitchen items.  Think creatively and resourcefully with everything!

2). Remember your vision

Be selective and intentional, keeping in mind the amount of white space, storage and keepsakes you’d like with you on the journey.

3). Think with an abundance mindset

Trust that anything you need will be available when you need it.  The “I might need this” reasoning will not support your freedom.  You don’t need any extra baggage!

4). Remain optimistic…

Think about the opportunities ahead and the new community of people you’ll meet.  By choosing to take only what you know you’ll need now, you’re making space for exciting new experiences.

5) Go with your gut

Remember when you experienced that gut feeling knowing that a tiny house RV was perfect for you?  Use that same gut feeling to make smart decisions about your stuff.

6). Give it a rest

Tired minds don’t make good decisions.  Working in small chunks of time can be better than putting in long days, so plan accordingly.

The open road. Photo credit: Lisa Luken

By approaching the task this way, you’ll be well prepared for the exciting adventure ahead, having intentionally chosen to bring along only what you truly need, use and love.

You’ll be ready to enjoy your tiny house and the big life it provides…with just the right items for the adventure.    


Lisa Luken is a Simple Living Mentor, helping people find joy and freedom through simplifying.  She and her family recently sold their “more than enough” home in Illinois, let go of nearly three quarters of their possessions and moved to the coast of Maine.  For more inspiration on simplifying and to learn how Lisa supports others on their journey, visit her website



photo credit: Lisa Luken

Written by Guest Blogger — February 16, 2015

Filed under: Adventure   Downsize   Packing   Simple Living   Tiny Home   Tiny House   Travel  

A Contemporary Riverfront Whidbey

Introducing Deidre's Modified Whidbey 

Deidre has been interested in building a cottage since she was introduced to Tumbleweed eight years ago. Originally she fell in love with Tumbleweed's B-53 design, but after purchasing a property in Great Barrington she gravitated toward the Whidbey. "Ultimately, I changed my mind because I loved how the Whidbey floor plan featured the backyard." Deidre explains.

Once you see this backyard, you can't blame her for wanting to make it a focal point!

Deidre's Stunning Back Patio 

"I was working off of an existing foundation, so I had to modify the Whidbey plans to match what was already in existence." She clarifies. "This meant making each room a little larger than the original plans, and I also allocated space for the master bedroom to have a custom walk-in closet." 

Whidbey closet

Photo of Deidre's custom closet designed by closetscapes / Photo by Deidre

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average home size in the United States has reached nearly 2,700 square feet. Deidre's two bedroom modified Whidbey is 960 square feet, or around one third the size of the average American home size. 

Deidre pulled a lot of inspiration from  Little House in Little Rock

"Being so close to the water, I moved all the mechanicals to the attic instead of the basement and eliminated the loft." She says, detailing other modifications she made to the Whidbey. "This allowed me to have 9 foot ceilings throughout, and an entire basement for storage."  

Deidre's contemporary interior design cleverly amplifies the square footage of her home. By keeping her color palette neutral and her furnishings sleek and simple, she has created a commodious abode. "When you stand at the front door you can see out the back, which gives the space an open feel." Deidre describes. "I have recessed lighting throughout the home, open shelving in the kitchen, and I only use a few candles for decorating. I try to keep it minimal."  She also purchased the majority of her furnishings from local shops to support the community. 

Three Space Savers Used in Deidre's Whidbey Include:

1). A wall mounted living room television to clear up floor space

2). A built-in wood storage space in the great room that doubles as a TV console

3). A lazy susan for corner storage in the kitchen and a smaller-than-normal countertop microwave 


       Whidbey bedroom  Whidbey Bedroom  

Construction on Deidre's Whidbey was completed in May, but as one project comes to an end, another one is just beginning."I want to continue to downsize," she admits. "The clearer the space is, the more room you have to think. It's peaceful." 

Deidre's Whidbey in Great Barrington, Massachusetts is currently on the market (see link below). Next up, she'd like to build a Tumbleweed Harbinger!

Tumbleweed Harbinger / photo by Tumbleweed Tiny Homes


*All photos (unless otherwise noted) by David Fell Photography. More photos of the home here.

*Click here to view Deidre's Whidbey property listing.

*Follow Deidre's blog here.


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently building a Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume, who is a professional photographer and Tumbleweed Workshop Host. After the build is complete, they plan to travel around North America in their tiny house blogging and photographing their adventure. More on their tiny house and giant journey here

Written by Jenna Spesard — August 19, 2014

Filed under: B-53   built it yourself   cottage   custom design   downsize   Great Barringtom   Massachusetts   square footage   tumbleweed whidbey   whidbey  

Top Laundry Units for Tiny Homes

Tumbleweed Cypress-24 with EdgeStar Washer/Dryer Combo

One of the most frequently asked questions regarding tiny home living is: Can I do laundry in a tiny home? The answer is: Yes! There are many units available and elements to consider, such as: space requirements, load capacity, weight, portability, automatic vs. manual, ventilation, power consumption, and budget. 

When our customers request an automatic laundry machine for their Tumbleweed, we always provide them with a combination washer/dryer. This is because combo units are compact enough for tiny home living without sacrificing the quality and convenience of a standard automatic machine.  

Dave Fisher, our Tumbleweed builder, researched and tested many combination washer/dryers for our House-To-Gos. Below we'd like to share the two combination units we recommend and use.  

1). LG - Model # WM3455HW

LG Washer/Dryer Combo
  • Retail: $1,435.00 (as of 8/8/2014)
  • Size: 2.3 cubic ft. / Dimensions: 33.5" H x 24" W x 25.25" D
  • Weight: 159 lbs.
  • Ventless
  • 15 lb wash capacity
  • 9 lb dry capacity
  • Highly energy- and water-efficient
  • Nine (9) washing cycles / Six (6) drying cycles
  • Five (5) temperature levels
  • Also comes in silver  

Photo credit: Compact Appliance

 2). EdgeStar - Model # CWD1510S 

EdgeStar Washer/Dryer Combo
  • Retail: $949.00 (as of 8/8/2014)
  • Size: 2.0 cubic ft.  / Dimensions: 33 1/6" H x 23 7/16" W x 23 1/2" D 
  • Weight: 188 lbs.
  • Ventless
  • 15 lbs. wash capacity
  • 7.71 lbs. dry capacity
  • Seven (7) wash cycles
  • Three (3) wash/rinse temperatures / Five (5) spin speeds
  • Also comes in white  

Photo creditCompact Appliance


If automatic laundry is not for you, below are three zero electricity options commonly used in tiny homes.

3). The Wonder Wash

 Wonder Wash

  • Retail: $42.95 (as of 8/8/2014)
  • Size:  12" x 12" x 16"
  • Weight: Less than 6 lbs empty
  • Wash capacity: Approx. 10 T-shirts or 2 pairs of blue jeans
  • Wash time: 1-2 minutes
  • Operation: Crank handle
  • Bonus Video - Watch as Tumbleweed Workshop presenter Art Cormier uses the Wonder Wash



Photo credit:

4). The Laundry Pod 

Laundry Pod
  • Retail: $99.95 (as of 8/8/2014)
  • Size: 14.45" x 14.02" x 13.55"
  • Weight: 6.5 lbs empty
  • Wash capacity:  Approx. 10 regular articles of clothing
  • Wash time: 1 minute
  • Operation: Crank handle



Photo credit: 

5). Scrubba

*Lightweight travel option. Backpacker friendly.

  • Retail: $54.95 (as of 8/8/2014)
  • Size: When bag is flat - 21.3" x 12.6" 
  • Weight: Less than 5 oz.
  • Wash capacity:  Approx. 2 days worth of summer clothes
  • Wash time: 1-3 minutes
  • Operation: Rubbing against internal wash board 


Photo credit:


Jenna Spesard is currently building a Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume, who is a professional photographer and Tumbleweed Workshop Host. After the build is complete, they plan to travel around North America in their tiny house blogging and photographing their adventure. More on their tiny house and giant journey here.

    Tiny House For Three

    Family posed on the porch of their "big house" (above) and their barn raiser (below).

    Meg, Brandy, and their 2-year-old son nicknamed "R.A.D." are about to dramatically shrink their idea of home. Having just received a Tumbleweed barn raiser, the family of three will be shedding approximately 3,000 square feet!

    “Somewhere between growing to despise our huge mortgage and realizing we would never be able to take my mother on the Alaskan cruise she dreamed of, something just snapped in my mind.” Meg explains why her family has decided to downsize from their 3,193 sq foot home and nearly $2,000 a month mortgage payment.

    “Losing my mom made us realize the ‘American Dream’ of the big house with the white fence was really just a pair of shackles preventing us from doing the things we really wanted to do.” Sadly, Meg’s mother recently lost a 17-month battle with cancer. Before she was diagnosed they had planned on moving the whole family from Texas to Washington. “The more I thought about the plans I was making with my mom, the more resolute I was that I needed this change. I was sick to my stomach with the knowledge that I let the big house weigh us down." It was then that Meg and Brandy finally made the decision to drop the big house, and travel around the country with a tiny home before settling in Washington for R.A.D to start school. 

    With Brandy attending college and Meg working two jobs, the couple quickly realized that finding time to build was going to be a challenge. That’s when they stumbled upon Tumbleweed’s barn raiser - a professionally built skeleton of a Tumbleweed tiny home secured on a Tumbleweed trailer. The family chose the Cypress 24’ Horizon model, which will allow a private bedroom for their son as well as a loft bedroom for themselves.  

    “Having the professional builders do all the heavy lifting and, most importantly, the strapping and securing of the structure to the trailer was the decision maker in the build vs. buy debate for me.” Meg explains. “I’ve had nightmares of the house sliding off the trailer, so the peace of mind that comes with having professionals secure my house is worth it’s weight in gold!" 

    Meg and Brandy ordered their barn raiser in mid-March and received a notification it was ready on April 22nd. The family set off to retrieve their new home - one that is equal in size of their current master bathroom! When they first stepped inside the tiny dwelling that would one day carry them off on an adventure, Meg remembers thinking it felt huge and tiny simultaneously. Check out their height charts: 

    “Our son calls it his ‘Biiiiigg Hooose’, and it (the tiny home) will probably continue to feel big to him while he is little.” - Meg

    How will this family cope with this dramatic downsize? Check back in for updates on Meg, Brandy, and R.A.D. as they finish their house and prepare to travel around the U.S.A. 


    All photos provided by Meg and Brandy. 

    Follow this tiny house family on their blog here. Like them on facebook here.


    Jenna Spesard is currently building a Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume, who is a professional photographer and Tumbleweed Workshop Host. After the build is complete, they plan to travel around North America in their tiny house blogging and photographing their adventure. More on their tiny house and giant journey here




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